Thursday, 25 April 2013

Laugh your way to the top

Friends and fellow marketing professionals. I want to tell you a joke.

There are two nuns in a bath. One says, 'Where's the soap?'

The other says, 'Yes, it does, doesn't it?'

Once someone had explained this joke to me, I realised it was the funniest joke I'd heard since the one about George Michael, the pot of yoghurt, the door-to-door salesman, the blindfold, the horrified cat and the 30-man team of contract cleaners.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is this: jokes make you laugh.

And laughing, my friends, can be Exocet Numero Uno in your Ground-To-Air Arsenal of Career Advancement Weaponry.

'Laughing, Dave?' you say, eyes quizzical and vulnerable, like a young boy who's just realised that his father isn't coming back - a boy who isn't called Dave, okay, and wasn't wearing a t-shirt with 'My Dad Rules OK!' on it, just in case you were fucking wondering.

Yes. Laughing. Laughing can be the mortar that bonds you to the other bricks in the Management Wall - the egg, if you will, in The Board Level Success & Bacon Quiche.  

Of course, it's not just as simple as laughing. You can't just spend your day laughing like a drain at everything. People will think you're fucking bipolar, or on a hen night.

There are different kinds of laugh you need to master as you progress through your career. So don't be a massive cunt like usual - read and learn.

The Executive Laugh

It's your first job, you're an exec - possibly junior - and you're surrounded by senior people who appear to think that they're funny. I know, I know - they're not funny. They're as funny as smears of effluent left on the crusted slacks of a particularly lazy colostomy patient. I agree.

(Incidentally, you wouldn't think that if you worked for me. I really am funny. Last week, I told one of my team she could lose weight by sucking my wanger because it's got zero calories. I mean, that is funny shit.)

To advance along your professional goal-path, you need to give these unfunny senior people the impression that they are funny senior people.

That's where the Executive Laugh comes in. It's simple. When they say something you think is meant to be funny, simply laugh as naturally as possible and end with the phrase, '...oooh, you are so funny!' 

I guarantee it will work, especially if you're a woman.

The Manager Laugh

Now you're a manager, you've got a team, you've got senior people above you - you're in the middle. That's why you need two laughs.

Manager Laugh One is for your minions...I mean, valued team members. One of them has made a joke, but you can't give them the impression it's funnier than your jokes, so you need a laugh that acknowledges without praising. Just let out two polite aha ha's, then say '...aaanywaaaay' and move on. Job done. They've been noticed and belittled at the same time.

Manager Laugh Two is for your seniors. Obviously, they need to think they're seriously fucking funny even though it's a proven fact that the more senior the person, the worse their sense of humour. This is a Knockles Fact (though it doesn't apply to me, obvs). So, when one of them makes a joke that's as funny as a penile tumour, just laugh nice and long and loud - but throw your head right back as you do it. Laugh at the ceiling, thus drawing attention to the laugh and the fact that you're laughing it. If other people try the same move, throw your head further back. Even if you end up laughing up your own shit-chute, DO IT.

The Board Level Laugh

You've made it. You're on the board. Like I am. Yes, me. I'm on the board. Sorry, the Board. Anyway, this is where shit gets real. And laughing shit gets seriously real. What you need here is a fucking BIG laugh. You need a laugh that will wake the dead on other planets, like Oldham or Somerset. You need a booming laugh that will pop your natty new corporate braces and startle wildlife. Don't be subtle, don't be coy - when someone senior to you on the board (and ONLY someone senior to you) cracks a funny, you laugh like you need that laugh to be heard in a faraway galaxy by the only people who can save your dying civilization, defeating the alien monsters who are about to slice your childrens' heads off.


There are two reasons for this. One, it honours the joke-teller and shows you to be a like-minded individual. Two, it needs to be heard by all the dross - sorry, I've done it again - all the valued team members outside the boardroom, who will hear you inside guffawing like a herd of pissed buffalo and realise that you inhabit a different world, a world they are not allowed to visit.

Think of your BIG, BIG LAUGH as your passport to that world.

So there you are. Gold-plated advice from a man who's been at the top of your game for decades. If you don't take it, that's fine - you can just Hootie And The Blowyourself. I couldn't give a flying turd.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Advertising needs an injection of balls

My fellow marketing professionals, it's been too long since I last blogged. It's been a very, very long time. The last time I launched a Truth Missile from my Insight Bunker here at IATC, cars only came in black and Martin Sorrell wasn't a money-grubbing Dickensian factory owner.

Or something. I don't fucking know. It was ages ago. Look at the date of the last post if it's that fucking important to you, dickspot. Jesus! What IS your fucking problem?

Anyway, I thought I'd break my silence to share a speech I recently gave at a marketing conference in Bogata.

Or was it Prague?

No! Wait. It was Leicester.

No matter - this is what I said at the crowd, many of whom came not knowing how to solve the problems of the advertising world. They certainly didn't leave in any doubt, however.


A vision, by David Knockles, Marketing Director.

My friends, fellow marketing professionals, colleagues, esteemed guests and, I suppose, people from agencies - I have something to say.


Remember when  advertising had huge, swollen, pendulous balls? Like a couple of watermelons in a carrier bag, yeah? Hanging proud, full, engorged with the frothing seed of inspiration?

Those days have gone. The days of the Smash robots, 'Follow the bear' and 'Um-Bongo, Um-Bongo, they drink it in the Congo', it pains me to say, are no more.

(Incidentally, you'll notice I left out the Guinness 'horses' ad from my roll-call of genius. It's widely accepted that it's the best ad of all time. It isn't. It's a pile of donkey spunk. Horses, as everyone knows, don't like water - and they certainly don't like Guinness, as I found out on a trip to Ireland in 2001 that ended in a brief jail sentence and a mandatory contribution to an equine welfare charity.)

The days when an agency would develop an idea based on little more than a week's sustained drinking and a jingle written by a failed composer and part-time drag act, we have to admit, are OVER. They are gone.



Data is a giant, swinging scythe, tearing into advertising's once massive danglebag, shearing off the mighty power-knackers that made things like this possible.

Data is the red hot button topic of the moment. It's the mot du jour. (That means 'dish of the day'.)

But what is 'data', in this context?

We know that 'Data' is / was a character in a Star Trek thing. He had a very white face and no emotions, so he was sort of like a KKK Spock.

I'm not talking about that Data.

In advertising, 'data' means information that your computer or mobile device sends back to Google, where the internet lives, about how much porn you watch, how much Viagra you order at a very reasonable price from a bloke in Turkey and how many times you look at the Facebook page of a woman YOU ARE NOT FUCKING OBSESSED WITH, OKAY, BUT WHY DID SHE LEAVE?

Google, who own the internet, takes all this data and makes a spreadsheet. It's the world's biggest spreadsheet because it has every living person's name on it, and every single piece of digital information associated with each one - so the thing must be fucking gargantuan. Like, probably, you'd need to print it out on A3 or something. It's fucking GIANT.

Obviously, this information is highly valuable. With it, advertisers can target their audience with extreme accuracy. For instance, I'm served with a lot of ads for haemorrhoid treatment.

But what has been left out of the advertising in this data-age of data is advertising's scrobble-haired meat-plums.

The advertising itself might be targeted at the right people, but it's about as interesting and dangerous as Michael fucking Buble. What advertising needs is a massive injection of balls.

How do we administer an injection of balls? Simple. STOP THINKING ABOUT EVERYTHING SO MUCH.

Don't 'research'. Don't 'consider'. Just do it, as Adidas would say. Do you think anybody actually thought about the Bisto family? Of course they fucking didn't - THEY WERE A BUNCH OF TEDIOUS CUNT-SHOTS. Which is why the nation loved them, of course.

Did anyone really think about Coca Cola ads? No! They just did them! Same goes for every single beer commecial made before 1993 (when the internet was invented). Think about it? They were too busy interrogating the product until they couldn't walk. They'd sit in the office drinking gallons of product until one of them would say, 'Why don't we say something like, 'Probably the best beer ever or whatever'? Then someone like me would step in and refine it until it became 'Carlsberg. Probably the best beer in the world.'

No thinking. Just advertising. No brains. Just balls.

Think about it.

Only don't.

Thank you.

I hope you've learned something. Because if you haven't, there's no fucking hope for you. Now stop thinking and start advertising - just like me. I don't think about a single fucking thing.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!